7 Ways to Win with Internal Audit

Ways to Win with Internal Audit
Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos

Just had a meeting with internal audit at my client. Never a popular group, but over the years, I have come to realize a set of

tips to keep in mind that have saved my hiney, and ensures smooth sailing with the auditors.

1. Ok. The first rule in an audit meeting is to keep your mouth shut. Answer when asked. You go off the rails showing everything you

know about it, you’re left with a bunch more tasks to do. The auditors have come prepared with questions. Answer those questions.

Within scope. The end.
2. Be prepared in targeted areas. You don’t need to prepare everything about everything, but any areas having to do with data

migration of financial data is like candy for auditors: Calculations that involve costs, revenues, financial statement impact,they ALWAYS want to see details on it.
3. Data Migration documentation. Whenever you go through data migration, ALWAYS keep perfect documentation before, during and after migration. If financial data is like candy for auditors, data migration integrity is crack! And, it’s something that you can’t even go in and document after the fact. You can say you heard it here first, make sure that documentation is DUMMY-proof. You want to be able to rely on it months down the road when you’re recovering from being sloshed at your go live party hangover and the auditor is waiting for you in your office…. which leads me to my next point. If you want a good template for documenting data migration, here it is.
4. Prepare your docs, so that you can literally read off the doc, and it’ll explain itself. When you’re in the room with auditors, and your team,  it’s easy to get flustered, and stressed. When you’re stressed, you can’t think straight. (At least I can’t) So if you have a document that a monkey can rely on, you can lean on it like a pillar.
5. Pictures are great. As cliche as it is, a picture is worth a thousand words. Video clips are fabulous. If there is anything that illustrates better than pictures, they’re moving pictures, especially when demonstrating a transactional flow in the system. Don’t be afraid to support your documentation with video clips and screenshots.
6. Be brief. With your answers. With your documentation. The auditors have not lived and breathed your project the way you have, if at all. You need to bring them through the shortest, clearest path that demonstrates due diligence. The more convoluted you are, the more fair game where red flags can be raised, even if your work was perfect to begin with. You’re not there to impress them with how much you know, or how fabulous your system is. You’re proud of your work. I get it. Guess what? The auditors don’t care.

Really they just want to get a clear answer and move on with life.

7. Have a reliable test system ready in case you need to demo something out of it. The worst is that you forget how you got to a certain screenshot, like I did today. No problem. I simply offered to replicate the entire transaction in the test system, so they can see it real time. Long live the test system!
There you have it. Following these points will fortify you through any internal audit review.

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